Lipstick Plants have it all – glossy leaves and long-lasting flowers. This tropical plant hails from Malaysia, is formally known as Aeschynanthus radicans, and also goes by the name Lipstick Vine. In nature, Lipstick Plants are epiphytic, latching themselves on nearby trees to better position themselves for sunlight. As houseplants, they are easy to maintain and lovely to admire. Lipstick Plant care is easy, although this stunner is somewhat particular. It may take some trial and error to fine-tune your level of care, but once you do, this plant will thrive.
Types of Lipstick Plant
Thin vines are dotted with dark green leaves. Many cultivars have thick, glossy foliage, while others have soft greenery. Leaves grow in pairs and are spaced along the vines, creating voids in the vegetation.
The main attraction of this plant is the flowers. Blooms will always draw attention, but Lipstick Plants have unique tubular flowers, often in shades of red. The flowers emerge from a dark burgundy bud, resembling a tube of lipstick. Some of the more popular Lipstick Plant varieties include:
- Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant
- Cassiopeia Lipstick Plant
- Curly Lipstick Plant
- Krakau Lipstick Plant
- Tangerine Lipstick Plant
- Mini Variegated Lipstick Plant
- Mona Lisa Lipstick Plant
- Purple Star Lipstick Plant
- Rasta Lipstick Plant
- Variegated Lipstick Plant
Lipstick Plant Light Needs
Place a Lipstick Plant in an area that receives bright indirect sunlight. This plant can handle some direct light, but too much will scorch the leaves. A south-facing window is a good spot. Take your Lipstick Plant care to the next level by hanging a sheer curtain in a south-facing window to diffuse the light. Rotate the plant often so each side receives even light and grows consistently.
How Often to Water Lipstick Plants
Watering can be hard to master, but it is essential for proper Lipstick Plant care. This plant likes to be consistently damp but doesn’t like to be waterlogged—water Lipstick Plants when the top layer of the soil feels dry. Ideally, the soil further down in the pot should be damp. Drench the soil until excess water drains through the pot.
Daily watering is too much and can lead to root rot and leaf drop. Depending on the amount of light and humidity in your home, you may need to water a Lipstick Plant every few days. Scale back and let the top few inches of soil dry out before watering plants not actively growing.
Best Soil for Lipstick Plants
Since Lipstick Plants in nature grow on trees, they need delicate, airy soil. The ideal soil will be moist but well-drained and neutral to alkaline. Avoid heavy soil that can be damaging to the roots.
Temperature for Lipstick Plant
Temperatures between 65° and 75° F are ideal for Lipstick Plant care. Temperature fluctuations are trouble for Lipstick Plants and can cause leaf drop. This flowering beauty likes warm and consistent temperatures. Keep the plant away from drafty areas and vents and clear of exterior doors, especially during the winter. Lipstick Plants make a stunning addition to an outdoor space in the summer, but make sure to find a spot that doesn’t receive direct light and move the plant back inside before the temperature drops.
Lipstick Plant Humidity
Lack of humidity is a dealbreaker for this plant. Lipstick Plant care requires increased humidity levels. As a tropical plant, moisture in the air is necessary for healthy foliage and flowers. Growing a Lipstick Plant in a home with average or low humidity is possible, but you need to take steps to make it feel at home.
Lipstick Plant Fertilizer
As fast growers, fertilizer is a big part of Lipstick Plant care. Feed these leafy beauties while they are actively growing. Apply fertilizer every two to four weeks. Use a balanced, water-soluble plant food with numbers like 10-10-10.
How to Get a Lipstick Plant to Bloom?
The key to a happy, healthy, and blooming Lipstick Plant is high humidity, warm temperatures, and bright, indirect light. Lipstick Plant care must be dialed in for this plant to bloom. It is a prolific bloomer, with flowers emerging in the summer and fall, but Lipstick Plants can bloom most of the year with proper care. Flowers last a few weeks, and the plant continuously sets new buds for a constant floral display.
Lipstick Plant Flower Scent
Lipstick Plants are visually stunning; if you want a lovely-looking flowering plant, this is the one for you. The flowers of the Lipstick Plant have a very faint scent that is not bad, but it isn’t pleasant. Most people do not have an issue with the scent, but if you are sensitive to smells, it may be worth checking this plant out at a local shop in person and getting a whiff of the flowers before bringing it home.
Pruning Lipstick Plant
This is a fast-growing plant, so pruning is a routine part of Lipstick Plant care. Plants grown in low light can become leggy, so all the more reason to give it a trim. Use clean, sharp shears to cut back and even out length.
When to Repot Lipstick Plant
Lipstick Plants can quickly outgrow their container, so repotting will likely be an annual affair. Repot Lipstick Plants in the early spring at the start of the growing season or in the fall when the last flowers fade. This plant can bloom year-round but try not to repot Lipstick Plants when actively blooming. Select a container that is one or two inches larger and has drainage.
Save those pieces trimmed during pruning to create more plants. Propagate Lipstick Plants via cuttings. Trim a section of stem about five inches long without flowers. Remove the lower leaves and place the cut end in soil. Water to keep the soil damp, and roots should form in a couple of weeks.
Is Lipstick Plant Pet Friendly?
Lipstick Plants are pet-friendly, which is good news since the long, trailing stems may entice a curious cat to swat at the vines. Your cat or dog will be safe if they chew on the foliage, flowers, or vines. You may want to place your pant up high if your pet has a history of playing with plants.
Lipstick Plants are epiphytic in nature, so they are a natural fit for a hanging container or even a high shelf. If you want to do something a bit less expected, place a Lipstick Plant in a floor stand, so the trailing stems can still hang, but the flowers can be admired close up. This plant is all about trailing vines, so let it do what it does best.
The foliage and flowers will likely obscure the pot, so it may be worth selecting a plain or understated container. The container impacts Lipstick Plant care, so choose a pot with drainage but made from plastic or glazed ceramic. Porous materials like terra cotta or unglazed ceramic may allow the soil and roots to dry out too quickly.
Lipstick Plant Care Tips
Lipstick Plants are all about those stunning flowers, but this plant also has glossy foliage and trailing stems. This plant has a tropical look, and once you get the care under control, it is very easy to maintain.